J.D. Martinez is having himself quite a first year in Boston.
Coming into Saturday afternoon’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox designated hitter/outfielder was batting .330 with 79 RBIs. He blasted his 29th home run in the 6-2 win over the Jays to re-take the Major League Baseball lead.
So what’s his secret?
Martinez takes hitting very seriously. And if you get to Fenway Park for batting practice, you’ll see the 30-year-old has two tripods set up on each side of the cage holding an iPad. When he steps to the plate, he has a third iPad pointed at the batter’s box.
“It makes me who I am,” Martinez told the Associated Press. “I always tell everybody that I’m not a natural hitter. I’m a trained hitter.”
Once his batting practice is complete, Martinez takes his iPad and reviews his swings to see where he can possibly improve and keep any bad habits he may have at a minimum.
“I had to teach myself the proper swing and the mechanics that I have to do,” Martinez said. “I have to stay on top of it because my body will find a way to let (the) 10 million swings I’ve taken when I was a kid slowly come back in. So I have to grind away to get out of the bad habits.”
He seems to be keeping any and all bad habits out of the box this season, as the 30-year-old continues to hit with immense power to all fields and even his teammates see that.
“That’s why he’s one of a kind,” Sox right fielder Mookie Betts said, who consistently is seen talking with Martinez during batting practice.
Betts also is having a stellar year for Boston, batting .357 with 23 home runs and 51 RBIs, so maybe the talks with Martinez are paying off.
Martinez and Betts will head to Washington D.C. after Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays along with Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel and Mitch Moreland to represent the Red Sox in this year’s MLB All-Star Game.
And when Martinez returns to regular-season action next Friday against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, we’re sure he’ll pick up right where he left off at the end of the first half of the 2018 campaign.